Author Archives: Anne Currie


For reasons which will become obvious, there are few words in this post. Some days are just made to be magical. This one, May 10th 2024, began as one of those days that only happen at this time of year – clear blue sky, warm sun, a blue poppy in the garden and the beginning […]

The Smithies

Every two months Ballat Smithy comes alive with sounds which would have been a daily occurrence until about the 1950s: the ancient sound of the hammer on the anvil, the roar of the forge and the hiss of red hot steel being quenched in cold water. The difference now is that the old smithy workshops […]


One of the benefits of winter here in Scotland is that there’s no need to get up early to witness a spectacular sunrise. Ballat Smithy Cottage faces due south, overlooking the Campsie Fells, and at this time of year the sun doesn’t peek over the top of the escarpment until just before 9am. It stays […]

Celebrating the Green

May and June are the months of celebration. The celebration of a winter survived, of the promise of summer ahead, and above all a celebration of the return of the green to the landscape. Here at Ballat Smithy Cottage on the edge of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, the green surrounds us. The […]

Which Way to ‘Nature’?

I vividly remember visiting the newly opened Landmark visitor attraction at Carrbridge in the Scottish Highlands, many (!) years ago. At the time its design and purpose were innovative and exciting – a tree top walkway among the ancient Scots pines, offering the possibility of spotting all sorts of rare and special wild things such […]